New Year Eve in Some Country
Monday, December 31st was the time of me (Odi) and A'ing to broadcast at Radio Kita 87.6 FM. We decided to discuss about New Year Eve in Some Country considering that tomorrow's gonna be the 1st January 2013. Here what we shared on the air:
Mexicans celebrate New Year's Eve, (Spanish: Vispera de Año Nuevo) by eating a grape with each of the twelve chimes of a clock's bell during the midnight countdown, while making a wish with each one. Mexican families decorate homes and parties in colors that represent wishes for the upcoming year: red encourages an overall improvement of lifestyle and love, yellow encourages blessings of improved employment conditions, green for improved financial circumstances, and white for improved health. Mexican sweet bread is baked with a coin or charm hidden in the dough. When the bread is served, the recipient of the slice with the coin or charm is said to be blessed with good luck in the New Year. Another tradition is to make a list of all the bad or unhappy events over the past 12 months; before midnight, this list is thrown into a fire, symbolizing the removal of negative energy from the new year. At the same time, thanks are expressed for all the good things during the year that is ending so that they will continue in the new year
New Year is widely celebrated in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Streets are decorated and for New Year's Eve there is a fireworks show and concerts in all the larger cities. Children receive gifts from adults who are dressed as Djed Mraz. Restaurants, clubs, cafes and hotels are usually full of guests and they organize New Year's Eve parties
To celebrate New Year's Eve in Estonia, people decorate villages, visit friends and prepare lavish meals. Some believe that people should eat seven, nine, or twelve times on New Year's Eve. These are lucky numbers in Estonia; it is believed that for each meal consumed, the person gains the strength of that many men the following year. Meals should not be completely finished—some food should be left for ancestors and spirits who visit the house on New Year's Eve.
Bleigießen (pouring lead) is another German New Year's Eve custom, which involves telling fortunes by the shapes made by molten lead dropped into cold water. Other auspicious actions are to touch a chimney sweep or have him rub some ash on your forehead for good luck and health. Jam-filled doughnuts with and without liquor fillings are eaten. Finally a tiny marzipan pig is consumed for more good luck.
The New Year (Portuguese: Ano Novo, Brazilian-Portuguese: Réveillon), is one of Brazil's main holidays. It officially marks the beginning of the summer holidays, which last until Carnival. Brazilians traditionally have a copious meal with family or friends at home, in restaurants or private clubs, and consume alcoholic beverages. Champagne is traditionally drunk. Those spending New Year's Eve at the beach usually dress in white, to bring good luck into the new year. Fireworks and eating grapes or lentils are customs associated with the holiday. The beach at Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro has a large fireworks display.
The city of São Paulo hosts the Saint Silvester Marathon Corrida de São Silvestre, which traverses streets between Paulista Avenue and the downtown area.
The English custom for welcoming New Year is full of hospitality and warmth. They believe that the first guest for the year would bring fortune for them. He should be a male, should enter through the front door and bear some traditional gifts like loaf for the kitchen, drink for the head of the family and coal to light the fire, otherwise he is not allowed. They believe that these bring good luck throughout the year.
It is believed that feasting will bring about prosperity. As such, a special feast, called as le Rveillon de Saint-Sylvestre is planned. Families meet and greet, champagnes are uncorked, huge pompous parties are organized.
In Denmark, residents keep a pile of dishes, all broken, in front of the door. For this they save old dishes and People usually throw these on the friends’ doors during New Year. This symbolizes friendship and brotherhood and they believe the one with maximum dishes outside, has the most friends. Some Danish are found to leap some chairs during midnight.
The Chinese have a unique way of celebrating New Year, where every front door of a house is painted in red which symbolizes happiness and good fortune. They hide all the knives for the day so that no one cuts oneself, because that may actually cut the entire family good luck for the coming year. However that doesn’t make any difference to the feast they have during time.
Brazilians believe that lentils signify wealth and prosperity. So they serve food items made up of the legume like soup or rice on the New Year. On New Year’s Eve, the priestesses dress up in blue and white for an auspicious ceremony celebrated for the water goddess. Also a sacrificial boat filled with jewelery, candles and flowers from the beach of Rio de Janeiro is pushed to the ocean that brings health, wealth and happiness for them.
Irish people check the direction of the wind blowing at midnight on New Year’s Eve to predict the political future of their country. This Irish tradition features among the most interesting New Year traditions in the world. Good fortune is believed to prevail in the New Year if the wind blows from the west. However, the intervention of British is expected in the year when the direction of the wind is from the east. Irish people also observe the tradition of exchanging mistletoe leaves to wash away the bad luck and it was used by single women to get hitched with handsome men. Knocking on the doors and windows with bread is considered to wipe out evil spirits and ensure prosperity for the New Year.
Egyptians believe that the New Year begins only when the new crescent moon is visible in the sky. They create and extremely festive atmosphere all around and celebrate the New Year with happiness and joy. The official announcement is made in the city of Cairo in a holy mosque, and the religious leaders do the needful.
Japanese New Year or Oshogatsu is meant for celebrations with family and it begins with proper decoration of the home to welcome luck and fortune. They clean the entire house, get themselves off from every financial liability, and resolve all issues before the New Year hits. They follow traditions of three things: a pine branch, called kadomatsu, denotes longevity; a stalk of bamboo symbolizes prosperity, whereas a plum blossom shows nobility. Before the clock strikes 12, they ring 108 bells to show that the all 108 troubles have been eliminated.
They believe that every round thing is auspicious. So they consume grapes, have coins, wear polkas dotted dresses, as they have faith that circular things attract more fortune and money. They also throw coins as New Year begins to increase wealth and prosperity.
The Spanish, eat 12 grapes at every toll of the clock during the New Year. This they believe will bring good luck and happiness for the coming 12 months.
Bonfires are burnt of the Christmas trees on the New Year eve, on streets, by the Dutch. This purges out the old and greets the new.
People go for mass in the New Year apart from visiting graveyards. They make seating arrangements there and wait for New Year to come, along with the dead bodies.
The celebrations last for three days where the Romans decorate their houses with greenery and colorful lights, they choose gifts for their loved ones very carefully like Gold, silver, for prosperity, honey for sweetness etc.
They believe kissing during midnight as the year approaches, is an auspicious gesture that purifies everything that is evil. New Year holds a special meaning as it was on January 1, 1863 that the Emancipation Proclamation was read in Boston. The declaration freed the slaves from bondage and it is from then onwards that African- American families hold watch services on the New Year. It is often referred to as the Jubilee Day. The New Year celebration spans over seven days, beginning from December 26. It is a way of African-American people to connect with their roots.